This week’s guest is North Nashville educator, Elois Freeman. Elois is direct, authentic, and carries a wisdom that can only be acquired through a long and meaningful life. Elois grew up going to segregated schools in North Nashville and went on to graduate from Fisk University in 1970. After graduation, Elois left Nashville to teach school in different locations around the country. Since returning to Nashville, Elois has been deeply involved in education activism work.

Elois and I met at a book discussion of Making the Unequal Metropolis by Dr. Ansley Erickson. I am so glad that she agreed to come on the podcast to talk about her first hand accounts that correspond to the overarching account that Dr. Erickson presents in the book. In our conversation, we discuss the strong community ties in the North Nashville community, how the interstate construction in the 1960’s intentionally divided and damaged Jefferson Street (where Elois’ family still resides today), whether or not desegregation should be a current goal for Metro Nashville Public Schools, and why data is the one topic that Elois will not discuss.

For more context about North Nashville, check out Steven Hale’s recent Nashville Scene piece, History Repeats Itself in North Nashville.